Not Everything in the Orlando area costs money!
Enjoy this list (Part I) of activities and explorations that won’t tap your wallet, courtesy of the Orlando County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. Part II features more activities in the Kissimmee area, Part III features Osceola County Nature Trails, and Part IV lists Polk County Walking Trails.
In a city that’s packed with endless opportunities for magic and excitement, more than a few of those opportunities are free of charge. Check out this extensive list of some of the area’s most interesting and diverse activities that are sure to bring a smile to your face.
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art features the most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany in the world. The museum is open to the public at no charge on certain holidays and on Friday’s from 4 – 8 p.m. For more information, visit morsemuseum.org or call 407-645-5311.
CityArts Factory is home to four separate and unique art galleries, bringing together visual and performing arts in the heart of downtown Orlando. The venue also houses a classroom, an artist’s studio and an 8,000-square-foot (2,438-square-meter) event and performance space. For more information, visit cityartsfactory.com or call 407-648-7060.
Grand Bohemian Gallery located in downtown Orlando’s upscale Grand Bohemian Hotel, showcases a wide array of artwork from local contemporary art glass and jewelry to European paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries and sculptures. For more information, visit grandbohemiangallery.com or call 407-581-4801.
Millenia Fine Art offers the largest collection of museum-quality paintings and sculptures in the Southeast. Collections include basket work, photography, lenticulars and glasswork. For more information, visit milleniafineart.com or call 407-304-8100.
Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts provides a place where the public can view the works of artists from African decent and celebrates the life and works of the famous Florida novelist for which the museum was named. For more information, visit zoranealehurstonfestival.com or call 407-647-3307.
Black Hammock Adventures on Lake Jessup, offers free live alligator and bird exhibits. Watch trainers feed the 12-foot (4 meters), 650-pound (295 kilograms) resident gator, Hammy, on Sunday afternoons. At the Lazy Gator Bar, guests can join the deck party every Friday and Saturday night and listen to free live music. For more information, visit theblackhammock.com or call 407-365-1244.
Harry P. Leu Gardens offers free storytelling for young children on the third Monday of each month and free admission to the gardens from 9 a.m. – noon on Mondays. Leu Gardens includes three miles of paved scenic walkways, a butterfly garden, tropical stream garden, bamboo and palm gardens and 1880s house museum. For more information, visit leugardens.org or call 407-246-2620.
Kraft Azalea Gardens located on Lake Maitland in the city of Winter Park, is the ideal place for a picnic or to soak up the beauty of the blooming azalea gardens. The park also offers walking trails and a small fishing dock. For more information, call 407-599-3334.
The University of Central Florida Arboretum is home to more than 600 plant species on an 80-acre property. The natural area consists of more than seven different ecosystems along with walking and bike trails and a lake. For more information, visit arboretum.ucf.edu or call 407-823-2761.
Winter Park Farmers Market , is held at the old train depot year-round every Saturday morning from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. This popular community gathering place provides local vendors and farmers a place to sell their homemade and homegrown specialties, including fruits, vegetables, organic produce, plants, baked goods and more. For more information, call 407-599-3399.
Lake Eola Park , is a 43-acre (17-hectare) recreational area in the heart of downtown Orlando. Visitors can picnic along the shore, enjoy a concert at the amphitheatre, feed the swans and other birds that call the park home or stop by the farmers market on Sundays.
Winter Park Popcorn Flicks , presented by the City of Winter Park and Enzian Theatre, are free movie presentations beginning at sunset in Winter Park’s Central Park and Shady Park featuring classic films on the second Thursday of each month. For more information, visit enzian.org/films/events.html or call 407-629-0054.
Winter Park Historical Museum is located in the historic Farmers Market Building and houses a photo timeline of Winter Park’s history, as well as changing themed exhibits. The museum also offers a walking-tour of the city that showcases more than 20 sites and includes a free audio tour CD, CD player and map that can be checked out for the day. For more information, visit winterparkhistorical.com or call 407-647-2330.
Disney’s Boardwalk is a re-creation of a 1930s Atlantic coastal village where families can enjoy a leisurely walk on the waterfront while being entertained by street performers ranging from musicians to magicians. For more information, visit disneyworld.com.
Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards located in Clermont, is Florida’s largest premium winery. Visitors can take a free tour of the winery and estate and sample wines in the tasting room daily. For more information, visit lakeridgewinery.com or call 352-394-8627.
Orlando Brewing Company located near downtown Orlando, is the only organic brewery and taproom in the Southeast and one of only 10 in the United States. Free brewery tours, Wi-Fi and live entertainment are available on weekends. For more information, visit orlandobrewing.com or call 407-872-1117.
LEGO Imagination Center located at Downtown Disney Springs, is 4,400 square feet (1,341 square meters) of fun. Guarded by friendly dinosaurs and a huge sea serpent built of LEGO bricks, this play area lets kids explore their creativity by building with colorful bricks at no cost to parents. For more information, visit Lego Store.
Believe it or not, there’s even more things to do and explore on a budget! Check out Part II of this article here!